By: Simon Blunn, VP and General Manager EMEA at WalkMe.
WalkMe Ltd., has today unveiled its business predictions for 2022. As organisations continue to invest in digital transformation and react to ever-changing global pressures, they will realise that they need a completely new understanding of the way that they, and their employees, operate.
In particular, it will be critical to ensure that digital investments are providing maximum value; that digital services meet end-user expectations; that valuable employees want to remain at their posts; and that organisations realise the importance of their digital environments in an increasingly hybrid world. Digital adoption will be an essential part of this, ensuring that end users can make use of all the tools put in front of them quickly, effectively and with confidence.
The predictions, from Simon Blunn, VP and General Manager EMEA at WalkMe, will help businesses navigate and understand these fundamental shifts and successfully balance technology and transformation.
2022 will bring an ‘Emperor’s New Clothes’ moment for digital transformation
“Digital transformations have been in tight focus, and attracted a lot of investment, over the last few years. But in 2022, organisations are going to take stock and ask whether they are actually getting what they paid for. The result will be a lot of The Emperor’s New Clothes moments, where instead of a small child pointing out that the emperor is naked, organisations will realise that their expensive digital transformation projects haven’t produced the expected results – often because the new technologies simple aren’t being used.
The good news is, once a problem is identified, it can be fixed. Analytics can identify where new technologies haven’t been adopted, and where the organisation needs to focus its attention. And while there might not be a 100% one-size-fits-all approach to increasing adoption, with the right tools organisations can onboard employees smoothly and give them the training and support they need to embrace new technology, instead of avoiding it.
The iPhone generation will issue an ultimatum on workplace IT
“As with any year, Christmas 2021 will see a flood of technology gifts – from smartphones to smart TVs to smart watches. The one thing all of these have in common is their user-centricity, which consumers have come to see as standard. But most people won’t find the same user-centric design when they return to the workplace. Patience is running out: research shows half of employees would quit over poor workplace technology, meaning 2022 will be the last chance for many organisations to get their user experience right and prevent a staff exodus.
“Any CIO will tell you that the bigger the company technology stack, the harder it is to go beyond the basics in terms of analysing and improving employees’ user experience. If organisations can view across the entire ecosystem, they can analyse which applications are popular, which are time drains, and which ones employees avoid altogether; and exactly why that is. Does the onboarding process even explain how the application works? Are there easy ways for users to get help when they struggle? And have staff actually completed tutorials? Without this overarching view, organisations will struggle to match, let alone exceed, employees’ IT experience expectations.”
2022 Will be The Year of The Great Acceptance
“The Great Resignation has been a big talking point in 2021, with 69% of UK workers considering moving jobs and many businesses bringing in new talent. But 2022 will see businesses focusing on the ‘Great Acceptance’. Essentially, if new employees are frustrated with core areas of their new job, such as the technologies they’re using, they will quickly become disengaged, prone to error, require more assistance, and ultimately more likely to quit. Organisations that aren’t prepared to accept and onboard new employees risk seeing these new hires walk straight back out of the door.
“Businesses that want to avoid spending on average 50-60% of employees’ annual salaries finding replacements need an even bigger focus than usual on rolling out the red carpet. A key part of this is giving a proper introduction to the software new hires will use, and reinforcing their understanding of these tools over time – in a way that itself is easy to understand, easy to use, and doesn’t bury employees in a blizzard of tutorials for different applications. This will set them up to succeed, and give employers confidence that employees are definitely using the tools they’ve been given.”
Businesses will find the “Goldilocks Zone” for digital transformation projects in 2022
“Digital transformation projects often fall into two camps. High-pressure, urgent projects can be too “hot” – completed as quickly as possible with little time for user experience and onboarding processes. Conversely, large-scale projects can be too “cold”, taking years to complete. Not only will the benefits take a long time to arrive, but organisations risk also losing sight of user experience and onboarding as they focus their attention on a huge roll-out. Either way, without enough time for onboarding and education, there’s a real risk that projects won’t meet their goals.
“Both these approaches have their place, but in 2022 more organisations will aim for the goldilocks zone for projects – ones where the timing is “just right” to deliver benefits in a timely manner, and allow time to ensure employees know how everything works and for organisations to monitor uptake. Key to this will be recognising onboarding and execution as a priority, and ensuring it’s baked into every plan.”
2022 will see the rebirth of User Experience
“User experience has been a watchword for organisations and software vendors for many years, but often the reality hasn’t measured up to the promise. In trying to provide the best experience to organisations with hundreds or thousands of users, most software has taken a one-size-fits-all approach: offering a UI, functionality and help that is aimed at pleasing most of the people, most of the time. However, this inevitably involves compromises and frustrations for almost every user – as always, trying to please everyone results in pleasing no-one.
“In 2022, we’ll see a renaissance in user experience, as modern technology allows us to create an experience that is tailored to the individual. Analytics mean that we can see exactly where individuals struggle with software, and what help they will need to get over those hurdles. And modern digital adoption platforms allow us to give individuals the help and advice they need, when they need it, in language they understand.”
Businesses will sell themselves on their tech stack, not their offices.
“Ball pits, juice bars and air hockey might be a tech company cliché, but businesses have used their offices to sell themselves to potential employees for a long time. After all, a job is more attractive if you’ll be spending 8+ hours a day somewhere you like. Yet with remote and hybrid working here to stay, and many people’s expectations transformed by lockdowns, the digital environment will be much more important than the office environment.
“This will make the technology stack organisations’ head office and shop window in one. If employees, or prospective employees, don’t enjoy their digital experience, or feel they can’t use the tools they’re given, they’ll leave. Similarly, customers won’t want to use a business that is frustrating to interact with – which is just as true for online services as it is for shop staff. Organisations need to be certain that all their technology is as easy to use as possible, with the right help and support at hand so that users can get the advice they need at any time. Otherwise, they’ll find that however glamorous their offices are, they’re showing their worst face to the world.”